India is going to the polls from April 7 to May 12, 2014, in the longest electoral process in the country’s history. Elections will be held in nine phases and the one man who is the favorite to become the next prime minister of the world’s largest democracy is Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Narendra Modi.
Narendra Damodardas Modiis an Indian politician and the chief minister of the state of Gujarat. Apart from being a politician, he is also an accomplished orator and a prolific writer.
Born to a family of grocers on September 17th, 1950, Modi started practical life by working in the staff canteen of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation. He later launched his political career with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)- a Hindu nationalist movement.
It was during this time that he came in contact with the leaders of Jan Sangh, the political wing of the RSS, which later reformed as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).He was assigned to the BJP in 1985 and three years later got elected as the General Secretary of BJP's Gujarat unit.
He has been the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat since 2001. Under his rule, the province has prospered with steady economic growth; therefore, Modi has been reelected three times.
He is seen as a dynamic and efficient leader.
Modi is the face and some say the BJP’s current bright star. His party’s 2014 manifesto to work hard to the end, never act in “bad faith”, and never act out of self interest, is said to be so closely based on the BJP leader’s views that it is being called the ‘Vision of Modi’.
Under him, the party promises to “Brand India”, which emphasizes on what he calls the 5Ts – talent, trade, tradition, tourism and technology.
He is accused of doing little to stop the 2002 religious riots in the state of Gujrat when more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. He has consistently denied the allegations and no evidence has surfaced against him, thus far. However, the allegations have stuck.
The riots broke out in the state following the apparent murder of 58 Hindu pilgrims on a train and the resultant communal violence.
The matter grew into a national-level debate, with opposition parties demanding Modi's resignation. He did, and elections were held again. This time, he adopted a strong anti-Muslim stance and managed to win 127 out of the 182 seats.
The BJP leader has always lived with the stigma of those riots. He was even denied a US visa and shunned by the United Kingdom; however, Modi has always dismissed the allegations and been unapologetic in his attitude.
General Elections 2014
His main rivals are Rahul Gandhi from Indian Congress Party and Arvind Kejriwal from the Aam Aadmi Part (AAP), but Modi is the clear frontrunner. However, time will tell whether the predictions of his victory come true.
His party could benefit greatly from a wave of public anger over corruption scandals and a slowing economy under the ruling Congress Party.
Playing on those very factors, Modi promises big change for India. No doubt his apparently tough, practical, and corruption-free record of economic management as chief minister of Gujarat state will help tilt votes in his favor.
Am I an atheist? Hell yes, if God existed he would never have created a world where Modi would be in the running for PM.
— Sanjiv Bhatt IPS (@sanjivbhatt) April 9, 2014
All set to fly from Delhi to Chennai to vote for Modi. I don't even know who is the candidate yet. Still, vote for Modi.— Sniper (@avarakai) April 9, 2014
Our family fully supports Narendra Modi ji, country needs his governance-Rajmata Shubhanginiraje Gaekwad of Baroda pic.twitter.com/SkNLpvBhyW— ANI (@ANI_news) April 9, 2014